In our event ‘Education matters to get closer to happiness‘, Mar Romera explained to us the difference between joy and happiness, because, she told us, “the fast society in which we live leads us to confuse pleasure with happiness”. The expert pedagogue believes that “pleasure is located in joy and I do not want my daughters to live in a constant situation of pleasure. In life we cannot always be at our birthday party ”.
And is that the continuous pursuit of pleasure is all about dopamine, addictions, the short term, immediate pleasure and that, in addition, always wants more. As Mar Romera told us, it is a “situation in which our brain says: ‘I feel good, I want a lot more, but what I felt good about yesterday no longer works today because I want a lot more.” Ultimately, this search for immediate pleasure dominated by dopamine goes from the outside to the inside and responds, Mar tells us, to “the fast-paced, consumer neoliberal society we live in right now.”
Mar, on the other hand, invites us to promote fulfillment in our sons and daughters, a concept of happiness that is more long-term and from the inside out, he indicates, governed by serotonin and acetylcholine. Fullness, says Mar, “is not addictive, it is long-term, it is from the inside out, it will not trigger a depression, which can trigger dopamine, and it will allow them to find their best version.” In a previous event, Mar told us that she did not want her daughters to be happy And he was referring precisely to happiness as it is understood in our fast-paced society: the quick and instantaneous pleasure that usually comes from outside. Because she, explains, “of course I want my daughters to find fulfillment, living in security, in admiration, in curiosity”.
How to educate against dopamine addiction or pleasure and joy
To swim against the current of this constant and rapid demand for joy, Mar is very clear about the best compass: time. “Our reward circuit, dopaminergic, which connects the limbic system with the prefrontal lobe, goes fast. That is why our sons and daughters get hooked on video games, TikTok, social networks, because they are fast stimuli that quickly cause a dopamine shot that makes me feel super good. ” That is why Mar wonders: “How to proceed to enjoy life without the need for a dopamine shot? I believe that the great gift of adults, of referents, is precisely time, learning to enjoy the moments”. Among the moments that he proposed us to enjoy without haste, he gave us several examples such as:
- Back to board games dice, pencil and paper, share a meal without a screen in between,
- Do not “allow” the use of screens for individual use before 10 or 12 years.
- Accompany us and that they accompany us in moments of loss, is visiting the cemetery, allowing our pets to die.
Make them aware that the family economy depends on the commitment to the economy of the whole family.
- Definitively see what a community life means in which we are all important.
Take into account article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, that they go first,
Listen to them, according to article 12.
Leave them a freedom in a structure of limits.
- Take responsibility, let go of their hand but always be present as a reference and model.
Putting the accent on the community, Mar Romera ended her presentation by thanking Educar es Todo “that you do with education and with the wise men who always accompany you a common good” for everyone.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.